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Is The Glare From The Screens Affecting Your Skin?
Most of the concerns about premature ageing and skin cancer used to stem from damaging UV rays; but over the past decade, researchers have found out that blue light – whether emitted by the sun or from the screens of our digital devices – may be harmful to our skin. Modern technology has become an integral part of our lives, and we are constantly surrounded by screens emitting blue light.
Understanding Blue Light
Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength visible light (HEV) that falls within the violet/blue band, ranging from 400 – 450nm in the visible light spectrum. This indicates that blue light possesses short wavelengths and high energy levels.
Blue Light Is Everywhere
In our modern lives, we are increasingly exposed to artificial sources of blue light, such as electronic devices and lights containing blue LED light. Although the amount of HEV blue light emitted from these devices is low, doctors have raised concerns about the excessive amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these blue-light-emitting devices.
Harmful Effects of Blue Light
Oxidative Stress and Premature Ageing:
Oxidative stress caused by blue light can expedite the ageing process by breaking down collagen and elastin – which are essential components of our skin. Collagen is crucial in upholding the skin’s structure, while elastin gives our skin its elasticity. While the skin possesses natural defenses against oxidative stress, prolonged exposure to excessive blue light from screens may overwhelm these defences, resulting in the formation of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
Another way in which blue light may influence skin health is through its impact on exacerbating pigmentation issues. Some research studies propose that extended exposure to blue light can activate melanocytes and stimulate melanin production, resulting in the emergence of dark spots and an uneven skin tone.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful stimuli. Chronic inflammation manifests when the body consistently sends out inflammatory responses, potentially causing lasting harm to the skin and increasing the risk of serious skin conditions. Emerging research suggests that blue light might trigger inflammatory responses in the skin, which, over time, may contribute to redness, sensitivity, and worsening conditions such as acne and rosacea.
Blue-Light Proof Your Skin
Although the research on the effects of blue light on skin health is still in its early stages, we recognise that completely eliminating screen time from our lives is nearly impossible – which is why taking proactive measures to safeguard your skin is crucial.
Use Screen Protectors and Filters:
Invest in anti-blue light glasses, screen protectors and anti-glare coatings to block out the transmission of blue light from reaching your skin.
Apply a Sunscreen Even If You’re At Home:
Most people still diligently apply sunscreen outdoors, and even fewer people apply sunscreen when they are at home. Always use sunscreens that contain physical blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients act as a barrier by shielding your skin, blocking, and absorbing the blue rays.
Incorporate Antioxidants Into Your Skincare Routine: Applying sunscreen alone may not be sufficient to protect your skin from blue light. Incorporate serums, such as Radium’s Vitamin B, C, E & Ferulic Acid Serum into your skincare regime, to help neutralise harmful free radicals generated by blue light.
Take Regular Breaks at Work:
Look away from your computer screen for about 1-2 minutes for every 20 minutes of work to grant your skin the essential break it requires from blue light exposure.
Blue light Can Be Beneficial For Your Skin
At Radium, we use LED Blue Light to treat mild to moderate active acne. Blue light works by inhibiting the sebaceous glands, reducing sebum production that is responsible for clogging hair follicles and causing acne breakouts. Furthermore, blue light is also effective in eliminating acne-causing bacteria. The pigments in Cutibacterium acnes resonate at about the same frequency of blue light. When exposed to medical-grade LED blue light, the pigments eventually break down the membrane, leading to the destruction of the bacteria.